My gnarled hands move across the controls of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, eyesight fading now, cataracts covering one almost entirely. The slight shake of my Parkinson's Disease clearly visible. My wife, tears of pain in her eyes, holds my hand, bringing it to her lips for a tender kiss.
60 years of happy marriage, 3 kids, 7 grand kids, and 4 great grand kids so far, but this decision was for us. My wife's cancer was back, and this time there would be no cure, no months of painful chemo, no watching her become a living skeleton, again.
We'd updated our wills, sold our properties, set up trust funds, and now all we had was this plane, and photographs of our family in front of us.
They'd warned us not to fly so far North, to avoid the storm raging over the Mountains, but we knew our own minds, we had the means, and the ability to decide our own fate. I pull back the control stick, taking the plane higher, through the clouds, the beautiful sunlight shining through.
"I love you," I speak, the first words in an hour.
"And I love you."
I push the controls forward, making the nose of the plane point towards the ground far below, letting gravity and the Lycoming O-360 engine do their thing. The plane accelerates beyond 300 km/h, we take off our safety harnesses, engulf each other in a long and perfect, yet final embrace.
And This is How I Die
I foresee my death as some
glorious self sacrifice,
Like I'll show up and save
a bunch of children from a fire
or hold back a group of dickheads
attempting a dark alley rape.
And my funeral will be full
of strangers I never had the chance
to disappoint. But what will really happen,
is some bastard will hit me head on,
he'll be texting, has to be a dude,
and the guy behind me will try to save me,
and fail, miserably. And my family will
fill the room around his casket and celebrate
this selfless fucker that never let them down.
I know this story lacks females, but this tale
is a little dark, and I fear their presence may
add enough beauty to distract from
my depressing little demise.
At His Hands
My vision goes black.
Not all at once, but as if my eyes are controlled by a dimmer switch.
And this asshole is turning the lights off on me.
But not with a switch.
Big hands wrapped around my throat.
Squeezing. Choking. Suffocating.
Hands that are strong and tough.
Hands immune to my futile attempts to pry them off my neck.
Hands shaking with anger and hatred as they squeeze the life out of me.
Hands that once touched me with love and tenderness.
Hands that belong to my dad.
Hands that belong to my first love.
Hands that belong to the father of my child.
Hands that belong to my husband.
Hands that belong to my son.
Hands that belong to my boyfriend.
Hands that belong to the next man who will love me.
I quit struggling, it's pointless.
He is bigger and stronger and more determined.
I've always known my smart mouth
And an angry man
Are a volatile combination.
I've always known a man I loved
Would be the death of me.
She passed away
Not so talkative
Young woman who had to
Speak three times
To be heard.
She is gone!
That stranger who Always crossed the street
With her earphones on
And listened to
The Lumineers' Dead Sea.
She no longer sets
Her foot on earth
Nor shares her
Dreams with the stars.
That lady who
Strove to find
Beauty in people,
When it was absent.
Yet, did not endeavor
To see it in herself.
The one who never Sought to dwell in heaven
Yet knew- she did not
Have a place in hell.
That girl who
Loved the words
Yet, rarely spoke
And hid her voice
In silence's symphony.
Yet, she was there.
So that day
She, once more
Listened to her tune
And the heavy drops of rain.
Until she stopped
And there was
No more sound.
She was all silent, As usual.
Yet, this time
She closed her eyes.
I will Die
How do I die? I die when I run out of breath, I die when my heart stops beating.
When my lungs no longer swell inside and my heart stops pumping blood.
I will die when I die on the day I die; that is my prediction of my death and I believe I am right.
Now if you ask me how I would rather die I would say just let me pass on to the other side when it is my turn to die and just don't let me wake up on the day I die.
Death comes to all so when I die just unplug me and let me go; for your choice of death is mute until we go and no one knows the demise of the death of us at all.
March 20, 2044...
Sometime between 4 and 5pm, at the cusp of a dusky twilight that is much easier on my too-blue eyes, I'm ascending steps of stone or concrete, heavy and solid beneath my shoes. There are at least four sets of these two-pace-steps-of-seven leading up to the old building that could be a library or court house as easily as a museum or municipal building to any onlooker not familiar with it, for it stands unmarked and solitary upon it's stair grown hill.
It's the day after my 58th birthday and I'm going somewhere important. Despite this, I am traveling with only what I can carry in my pockets. One thing is constant, I am dressed for business, in as much as I ever dress for business- I am an Artist afterall. Unfortunately, I never make it there, not even to the top of the wide steps. No, a moment before my killer and murder weapon collide into me, I feel the intent like a cold finger, gliding up my spine and curling a hand around my throat that directs my jaw into the attack in a sick need to see it coming.
It doesn't matter. I've known this day was coming, I knew this was the moment when I set foot on the first step, and I knew I would not fight. I am tired of fighting, every day has been a fight, and some part of me always looked forward to this day when I am released. I welcome the pain, the last sensations of a twisted existence, humbled by the gentle way the knife is abandoned in favor of my body, he lowers me to the steps at a slant so I won't roll down the way the knife has clattered. My blood soaks my shirt, slides around my sides and makes rivers across my back that suddenly converge into a warm set of puddles pooling at the edge of every step I lay against.
I taste my blood and feel it weigh down my lungs, while too, each inhale drowns in the crimson tide only to escape before a full circulation through every perforation of the blades tip. My sails are torn, my heart nicked and skipping with a chugging threat to stall completely, but it's difficult to focus on through the nails torn through my gut like a stinging, burning, piked to the stairs kind of feeling that leaves my legs unresponsive and my hands uselessly trying to contain the mess. I can feel the warmth draining away with my blood, and I marvel that the pain does not cease, but transforms into a white searing acceptance that, if it hurts, I no longer care. My killer sees in my eyes that I forgive him, though I try to say the words, I cannot hear past my thud-silent heart, and do not know if they escaped me, and he leaves as quickly as he came.
If anyone notices me dying on the stairs, none rush to my aid. My last sight with my mortal eyes is of a true blue sky and a small sputtering of clouds. I am not breathing. My heart is not beating. My body is shutting down systematically and I am reminded of a shroom trip many years ago, when I felt the same sensations of each cell doing it's part in my body, and it causes me to smile. I feel my brain chuck non-essentials and still not have enough resources to keep going so, what is left of my conscious control I use to let go. Just like that, I am dead.
I see myself, for a moment, laying in a pool of blood on the steps, not a soul within fifty feet of me, save my own drifting away above my abandoned body. I do not know where I am going now, but I am not worried.
(I drempt this future many times with slight variations -mostly in my wardrobe and whether the man wore a mask or didn't- but this is the gist.)
Playing It Safe
The definition of death is "the termination of all biological functions that sustain a living organism". But many people died long ago while still breathing and continued going through the motions until finally their bodies gave out. I think that most people die long before the last breath leaves their body. I will die when I decide the world is too much and lock myself away from it in hopes to keep myself safe. The moment I decide living is too dangerous is the day that I truly die. The day I can no longer enjoy myself for fear of death is the day it will overtake me.
My death lives on..
Isn't life the biggest fallacy,
And death the ultimate truth!
We live near to death everyday
and yet yearn for life to stay.
I looked in his eyes for a life to lead,
And all I see, is a back stabbing deed.
But isn't there something more I want from life ahead,
As in my lover's arms I lay dead.
Was it his poison or heartbreak that killed me,
He will never know...
But in his living eyes forever now,
My death will always show!
© CopyRight Vibha Lohani 2016
My skin sizzling
fiery blaze of blisters
don’t want more
roasted to my core
searing end to me
I've tried to imagine every possible way that I could die, regardless of how remote or unlikely, commonplace or bizarre, flat-out or convoluted.
I've compiled the ultimate list...and keep adding to it daily.
It isn't that I want to try and avoid dying in these ways - oh, no-no-no. That would be silly. We all will die and I have zero desire to control my fate, much less change it.
Simply put, I make the list because I never, ever, ever seem to guess correctly on anything. Not lottery numbers or which passport control line to get in.
So...making this list of guesses means that there are only two possible outcomes for me.
I will either:
1. Know, with my last thought, that I finally guessed something right.
2. Be absolutely surprised in my final moment of existence.
Either way isn't a bad way to go.